Sales cadence: What is it and how to do it right

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In sales, planning is everything.

Whether you’re designing a sales process, writing a sales proposal or setting up a follow-up sales strategy, you need to have a well-thought-out plan to get the desired results.

But most rookie salespeople don’t have a follow-up plan or, in other words, a sales cadence. They follow up once, probably twice and when they don’t get a response, they simply move to the next prospect.

That’s a wrong approach.

Prospects need to hear from you seven times before they decide to purchase from you. So, if you’ve given them a call or sent them an email and they don’t respond, it doesn’t mean they aren’t interested. They probably receive hundreds of cold emails each day, and your email got buried in their inbox. Or, perhaps they read your email but didn’t have the opportunity to respond to it.

You never know unless you follow up with them.

Even if your first email doesn’t get a response, the second email has a 21% chance of being read – Heather Morgan, CEO of SalesFolk

The key to getting a response is to have regular follow-ups with prospects. And to do that, you need to have a sales cadence in place. In this article, we will tell you what a sales cadence is, why you need it and how to do it right.

So what is a sales cadence?

A sales cadence is a sequence of activities or touchpoints with a prospect to establish a connection for engagement or sale. It is typically a schedule for sales reps to follow up with each prospect via phone, email and social channels.

Sales cadence starts at the first contact attempt and continues through a sequence of interactions until the prospect is either converted into a sales opportunity or exits the cadence and goes under the nurturing bucket.

For example, if you’re offering a free research paper on your website and someone fills out a form, the sales cadence will look something like this:

Day 1: Send the research paper and ask them to connect with you on social media.

Day 3: Send a follow-up email with another article relating to the first one.

Day 5: Send a LinkedIn connection request with a note in the morning. Call in the evening.

Day 7: Call in the morning; leave a voicemail if no response; send an email stating you’ve left a voicemail.

Day 10: Send a follow-up email – Permission to follow up (quasi-breakup email)

Day 12: Send the break-up email

If the prospect responds on Day 7, they will exit the sales cadence because they would have either expressed interest and booked a meeting with you, or asked you to remove them from your mailing list.

Why do you need a sales cadence?

The whole idea of a sales cadence is to diversify your outreach by getting in touch with prospects across multiple channels. Some prospects are more receptive over phone, while some may be more receptive over email or social media. Therefore, it’s crucial for your sales cadence to include multiple channels to connect with a prospect like phone call, in-person meetings, email, and social media.

Having a sales cadence ensures:

  1. You have a follow-up strategy for every prospect that comes into your CRM system.
  2. Your leads are moving across stages in your sales funnel.
  3. You are building and nurturing long-lasting relationships with prospects.

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How many touchpoints should you make with a prospect? 

One of the most common questions asked by most salespeople is “How many times should I contact a prospect?” Well, there is no specific answer to that question. Some say it’s best to have eight touchpoints over email, three over call and three over social media, while some others say that calls and social channels have worked for them. The best way to design your sales cadence is to test and see what works for you.

Here’s a quick example of what your sales cadence should look like:

Business day 1: Auto email with the information you would like to share. Send a LinkedIn connection request with a note in the afternoon.

Business day 3: Targeted personalized email in the morning. Call in the afternoon; leave a voicemail if no response.

Business day 7: Send a follow-up email with a different value-add. Send a LinkedIn InMail in the afternoon.

Business day 10: Send the quasi-breakup email (permission to follow up). Call in the afternoon; leave a voicemail if no response.

Business day 12: Call in the morning. Leave a voicemail if no response. Follow up on LinkedIn in the afternoon.

Business day 15: Send an email sharing links to a useful resource.

Business day 20: Send the breakup email.

4 key points to remember while building a sales cadence
  1. It’s a myth that the best days to cold call and set-up meetings are on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Our sales team at Freshworks have had opportunities and meetings scheduled on Mondays and Fridays as well.
  2. The best time to cold call is during 2 – 4 PM because prospects are likely to be available post lunch and during the latter part of the day.
  3. You can make multiple touchpoints with prospects in a day. For example, if your touchpoint is over a call and if the prospect does not pick up the phone, you can leave a voicemail and also send an email mentioning that you have left a voicemail.
  4. One of the best approaches to building sales cadence is to first segment your list into Tier 1, Tier 2 and Tier 3 accounts. Then, you can design a cadence for each tier account.

How to measure and track results?

Manually following up with prospects can be quite a challenge especially when you are dealing with a high volume of leads. There are sales efficiency tools and even some CRM systems that leverages technology to automate the sales cadence.

Using these tools, you can gain insights into how many leads have entered and exited the sales cadence, the email open and click rate, and the number of follow-ups made in social media channels and over a phone call.

Once you have a sales cadence, you need to know if it is working for you. To judge the success of your sales cadence, you need to track the following two metrics:

Email open and click rate: Tracking the email open and click rate helps you understand whether the email content resonates with the prospect’s needs and pain points. This will allow you room to tweak or even change the email outreach strategy.

Call to appointments ratio: Tracking the number of calls that have resulted in appointments helps you know if you are targeting your ideal customer profile. It also tells you which geographies, industries, markets, etc., you should focus on and where you should hold off.

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A sales cadence ensures that leads don’t fall through the cracks and are moving across stages in your sales funnel. If you follow a sales cadence, let us know your workflow and what’s worked and what’s not. Let’s discuss in the comments below.

Sales campaigns in Freshsales CRM helps you automate and measure the success of your sales cadence. Signup for a free 30-day trial today.

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